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Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter - Ballast Point Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial PorterVictory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
98
world-class

4,561 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,561
Reviews: 1,022
rAvg: 4.4
pDev: 9.09%
Wants: 837
Gots: 1,031 | FT: 78
Brewed by:
Ballast Point Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: radshoesbro on 03-17-2009

Imperial Porter with Coffee & Vanilla.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,561 | Reviews: 1,022 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of RblWthACoz
4.06/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with a tan head. Nose is tight vanilla and coffee. But mostly coffee. Flavor is sweet coffee tones. Almost like you added that faux creamer to your coffee. A bit too sweet IMO, but it does still work quite nicely. Feel has a biting carbonation on the mouth and the liquid is thicker on the body. Overall a good stout. Robust and ripe with character. Though I feel the vanilla is coming on just a bit too much. It'll be interesting to see how this reacts as it warms up.

Photo of sleuthdog
4.06/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoy by 11/13. Poured into Ballast Point tulip.

Appearance: This poured as black as night with three fingers of head that is light brown in color. Lacing is all over the place and I'm still waiting for the head to recede. Rocky head mixed with large bubbles too.

Smell: Big time bitter coffee in this with notes of vanilla and dark chocolate. Heavy roast and some char.

Taste: Again coffee takes center stage with some vanilla and dark chocolate in the background. The roast is a fairly dominating aspect in the taste. Coffee is quite bitter and alcohol leaves a slight burn.

Mouthfeel: From the appearance I would think this would have been a more full feel. It is surprisingly thin for the look but one that seems to fit the beer very well. I am not picking up much carbonation and this has a creamy mouthfeel. Alcohol does burn the gums some.

Overall: If you are a coffee drinker this would be up your alley. A big beer that is one that is best shared.

Photo of tylerbrowe
4.07/5  rDev -7.5%

Photo of Blanco
4.07/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark black color with light brown/tan colored head. Very strong excellent lacing. Huge coffee aroma immediately upon pouring, along with a little roasted malt. Coffee is upfront in the taste as well, however, it has more of an artificial taste to it. A bit of sweetness comes through as well, with hints of chocolate and some roasted malt. Sadly, the vanilla is hard to pick up at first.
Medium bodied. 

This was a decent beer, but was somewhat of a disappointment in the taste, after such an amazing smell. In the end the beer was good but I wish the flavor had more of a coffee punch.

Photo of beeragent
4.07/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter from a 22 oz bomber.

A - Pours a deep brown with ruby hues. Appears black in the glass. Very small mocha head with light lace.

S - Strong roasted coffee with a hint of vanilla and alcohol.

T - The coffee flavor coats the palate with a bitter cocoa presence. Slight hint of vanilla and bitter hops in the finish. Alcohol is well hidden considering the abv.

M - Thick bodied with low carbonation. Very smooth finish.

O - Definetly what comes to mind when thinking of an imperial coffee porter. I would have liked a more noticeable vanilla presence, but overall it is what it says it is. This will be an awesome beer to have during the winter!

Photo of mdfb79
4.07/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

a - Pours a dark brown color with one finger of tan head. Light carbonation and lacing evident.

s - Smells of milk chocolate, roasted malts, cofee, and a hint of alcohol.Some vanilla too. Very nice.

t - Tastes of bitter chocolate, hops, roasted malts, coffee, and alcohol.

m - High carbonation and medium body. Some alcohol warmth.

d - A pretty good porter. Smells amazing with lots going on, but I wasn't the biggest fan of the bitterness in the taste; it was a bit too much. I didn't get any vanilla from the taste which I would have liked, and also thought the high carbonation hurt it a bit. None the less, it is still a very good porter worth checking out. Would have again.

Photo of axeman9182
4.07/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle from the generous BA Soonami. This one was allowed to warm a good bit before being poured into my Brooklyn Brewery tulip.

Victory at Sea pours a solid black, with a tan head that comes up to between two and three fingers in height. There's a decent amount of lacing left behind, and the foam takes its time in inching down the side of the glass. The nose is almost perfectly balanced. There's some sweet milk chocolate that's neck and neck with strong coffee in terms of flavors standing out. I think a lot of porters and stouts sometimes overdo it on roasty grain notes, but this beer is notable for it's pretty much complete lack of any. I actually wish there was a little bit of roast to give the nose more of an edge, but that's really nitpicking. That superior balance isn't found in the flavor, for the most part. Coffee jumps out and dominates any chocolaty notes on my palate. As the beer finishes approaching room temperature, the coffee and vanilla bean influences finally begin to even out again, but it's a bit too late to make this a truly great beer. The carbonation is appropriately subdued, but I expect a rich and full body from a 10% porter, and this one just doesn't deliver on that front. Victory at Sea is a very good beer, and one that I would gladly come back to, but it's just a step below true greatness.

Photo of Beaver13
4.08/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle. Pours dark brown black with a big creamy tan head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is huge roast coffee with fudgy malts and a little vanilla.

The flavor is a little more subdued than expected. Lots of roast coffee, chocolate malt and vanilla with a big bitter roast finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and slightly watery.

Overall, a very nice coffee porter with nice chocolate and vanilla notes.

Photo of Stebow1289
4.08/5  rDev -7.3%

Photo of hreb
4.08/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle served in pint glass. Oh, *Imperial* porter? Oh my. Beer pours pitch black with a massive pillowy brown head on top. Big coffee aroma dominates everything else. A hint of caramel sweetness -- I guess I could believe vanilla in there. Flavor starts out coffee forward, with a caramelly, oaky (vanilla) sweetness up front, which progressively works its way back across the palate and ends up respectably bitter. There's not zero hops in here, but the real aftertaste is the earthy bitterness of black coffee, which leaves its residue on the lips. I think the vanilla provides caramel and oak flavors, neither of which are president, but the result is pretty complex, without bringing the harshness of oak, nor the sticky sweetness of adjunct sugars.

Photo of emerge077
4.08/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Glugs into a half liter mug, jet black with a crisply defined line of mocha foam on top. The foam is sticky and leaves tan concentric rings around the edges. As it warms up, the aroma is very chocolate/vanilla like a milkshake. The flavor is also heavy on these notes, seeming like a melted kahlua milkshake on first impression. Some char and bitter coffee elements. Fairly dry and bitter dark chocolate aftertaste. Pretty beefy, one to sip for sure. Luckily there's no hint of 10% in here.

Photo of angrybabboon
4.08/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cheers to Goblinmunkey7 for sharing this. I've been meaning to review this for quite some time.

Consumed 2/18/14

Appearance: Surprisingly dark, I would legitimately call this jet black - pours with a large, rocky, beige head - keeps a solid cap - leaves webs of lacing

Smell: Big, bold coffee - roasty coffee beans and coffee grounds - tons of vanilla bean and vanilla - cooked, roasty, burnt malts - chocolate malts, dark chocolate, baker's chocolate - nutty in the finish

Taste: Coffee, chocolate, and vanilla - decidedly reminiscent of chocolate-covered coffee beans - espresso and some drip coffee - dark chocolate, baker's chocolate, and a touch of cocoa - the vanilla is definitely big, with some vanilla beans and vanilla extract, but I think it's a bit overshadowed by the coffee... or maybe I can't quite discern the two flavors since I add French vanilla to my coffee on a daily basis - whatever - nice level of sweetness balanced with some roast - finishes dry and roasty

Mouthfeel: On the heavy side of medium, definitely big for the style, nice carbonation, smooth

Overall: Yup, worth a try

This isn't the best porter I've had, and it's not the best application of coffee. But it is very good. It's fairly easy to find, so I'd say it's definitely worth a try.

Photo of mayxday
4.08/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of BeerNW
4.08/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Phelps
4.08/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Looks: like breakfast. An overriding and abundant black liquid fills the glass while a powerful-looking head the color of brown sugar and the consistency of pancake batter slowly retreats to a thin but stubborn blanket. Sweet, sticky spatters of lace pepper the glass as it goes.

Smells: like Cappuccino gelato. Medium roast coffee, with milk. Sweet, dessert like. Subtle vanilla notes in the back, with some roasty delights. Bit of sourdough, brown sugar. More coffee than vanilla.

Tastes: like tiramisu. An excellent balance of bitter and sweet. Bitter medium roast coffee flavors play at the sides of the tongue, while a sweet vanilla and irish cream character builds at the front. Toast. Molasses. Alcohol heat rolls down the throat, noticeable but not overpowering. Sweet finish. Loving the play of coffee bitterness and sweet vanilla. Really comes together as it warms. The vanilla becomes more pronounced, making the overall drink sweeter.

Feels: creamy, smooth and luxurious over the tongue. At first I thought the body could be a touch more full, and the medium carbonation just a bit too heavy, but the beer again improves dramatically as it warms. The mouthfeel expands to a creamy delight.

Drinks: like dessert. Victory at sea is a treat that, while not terribly complex, is utterly drinkable. I foresee the flavors mingling even better with time; I look forward to revisiting an aged bottle in a year or so.

Photo of Thickfreakness
4.08/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this in one of my first trades last year... thought it was about time I opened it.

A- Pours near pitch black into my DFH glass. Nice creamy, thin dark tan head with a nice amount of oily residue clinging to the glass.

S- Nice roasted malt and coffee is the first thing that hits the nose. Cocoa, vanilla bean, and a subtle touch of citrusy hop lies beneath.

T- Fresh pressed black coffee, beautiful roasted chocolate malts! Very nice vanilla notes than open up aas it warms. Tastes like real vanilla beans... not extract. Nice bitterness, probably from both the roasted malt and the citrusy hops.

M- Creamy and chalky at the same time. Rich vanilla and chocolate flavors mingle with the citrus from the hops. Really thick and creamy on the tongue without being sticky. No real sence of the 10% which is nice.

O- This is a fantastic porter! Wishing I had drank this fresher, but hopefully I get another bottle this year. Incredibly drinkable and delicious. The vanilla really shines thru as it warms up.

Photo of sommersb
4.08/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Tasted On: 06-28-2014
Freshness: Best by 12-12-2013
Packaging: 22 oz. brown bottle, pry-cap
Glassware: Tulip
Purchased: Received in a trade

Black, opaque beer that features a small tan head. Very good lacing and a low level of retention.

Aromas have vanilla and wood, rich dark fruits, coffee, chocolates and dark cherry fruit.

The taste has dark chocolate, rich malts and brown breads, bitterness of roasted coffee and earth hops and vanilla. Also get some alcohol warming and perhaps some oxidation from the age.

Thick-bodied mouthfeel with low carbonation. The finish has a pretty intense coffee flavor and bitterness.

A very rich and coffee-forward beer that I enjoyed, but it did seem to have some off flavors that may be attributed to the age.

Photo of mltobin
4.08/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a bomber of this over in Westchester NY.

Appearance is dark black with a short tan head. The nose of this imperial porter contains chocolate, vanilla and coffee. Vanilla really came out more than I expected in the aroma. For the taste, a fair amount of roasted malts are present, coffee and vanilla. Mouthfeel on this offering from Victory leans towards full with a velvet texture. If you have had some of Ballast Point`s ipas but not this one, you need to check it out, solid quality.

Photo of MikesnoHSL
4.08/5  rDev -7.3%

Photo of bcostner1
4.08/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Darker than some porters I have had; borders on black but does transmit at least a little bit of light. Nice tan head.

S: Some char, wood, cocoa, vanilla, chocolate, coffee. Coffee and vanilla do not come through as much as I would have thought/liked but still presents a decent aroma.

T: Very tasty. Everything blends together pretty well. Not quite as coffee-forward or vanilla-forward as I thought it would be but both elements are still evident. Almost has a kind of "malted milkshake" or "frappuccino" quality to it from the blending of the coffee and vanilla which I like. The finish is pretty dry and is predominantly bitter dark chocolate and/or bitter cocoa. All in all, this is a fairly complex beer. As I sit and sip it, I keep picking different subtleties.

M: Pretty easy drinker surprisingly. ABV is hidden very well. I would say that it is actually a little on the thick/viscous side for a porter but not so much so as an extremely viscous impy stout would be for example. I'm enjoying the body in this one.

Overall, I was very excited to try this one. It did live up to expectations but I do wish that the coffee and vanilla elements (in particular the coffee) were just a little bit more pronounced. I would definitely drink this again though. Recommended.

Photo of sentomaster
4.08/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Smith's 2-10-11

A- Dark black body with a thick two finger mocha brown head. Leaves nice legs.

S- Not a huge nose but very nice notes rising up. A bit of light coffee, roasted malts, a little sweet vanilla and dark fruit.

T- Wow. Lots of good stuff going on here. Starts out with dark bittersweet chocolate note, roasted/toasted grains, coagulated sticky molasses, a bit of smoke and understated coffee grounds on the sides. A bit of dark cherries and vanilla ride underneath. Earthy, resiny hops punch through just a bit along with a touch of alcohol spiciness. Finishes back where it started but with a lingering smooth espresso flavor.

M D- Nice creamy, velvety coating with minimal but lively carbonation. Yummy indeed. After my first I had to order another.

Photo of Gkruszewski
4.08/5  rDev -7.3%

Photo of thedindaniel
4.08/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I've had this beer many times now but recently snatched up a bottle since it's been months from the last time I've seen it. Beer is a very dark brown, almost black with off white lacing, good amount of head but not very foamy. Scent is strong coffee beans with a hint of vanilla sweetness. Taste is very similar to scent but is dominated by a combo ofthe coffee, hop bitterness and the roasted malts, vanilla is present and tho not overwhelming seems to shine in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel has a nice amount of carbonation and the beer has a medium body, could be heavier for my tastes but doesn't hurt the beer, probably helps with the drinkability.

Overall, this beer is a great after dinner sipper. I can see myself drinking this by the fireplace around the holidays. Wish it was cheaper but understand why it isn't what with Ballast Point using coffee from a reputable local cafe and real vanilla. Seek it out if you haven't had it and hold on to a few when u need a break from the loved ones in the winter.

Photo of Tim725
4.08/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of SP1_FLA
4.08/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter from Ballast Point Brewing Company
98 out of 100 based on 4,561 ratings.